'L Word' star Jamie Clayton: Shane infidelity 'not a surprise but it's sad'

Tess (Jamie Clayton) is overwhelmed in "The L Word: Generation Q" Season 3. Photo courtesy of Showtime
1 of 5 | Tess (Jamie Clayton) is overwhelmed in "The L Word: Generation Q" Season 3. Photo courtesy of Showtime

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Editor's note: This story contains spoilers for "The L Word: Generation Q" Season 3, Episode 3.

Jamie Clayton said the revelation on Sunday's The L Word: Generation Q that Shane (Katherine Moennig) was unfaithful to Tess (Clayton) was tragically inevitable.


"When you do get to the moment where we see that Shane has been unfaithful, it's not a surprise, but it's sad," Clayton told UPI in a recent phone interview. "Sometimes couples just lose their rhythm."

Tess does not yet know that Shane slept with a makeup artist from Alice's (Leisha Hailey) dating show. However, Clayton, 44, said the Season 3 storyline was driving wedges between Shane and Tess.

Despite the pressures of running a gay bar, Tess proposed opening a second one. Meanwhile, Tess is still caring for her mother (Joanna Cassidy), who has multiple sclerosis and dementia, while Shane is busy herself.


"It's a sad thing when the communication breaks down, and when one person wants to go do this and the other one is tired," Clayton said. "When you're just not on the same page, it just creates such a rift."

Clayton said she felt Tess and Shane's struggles were universal in relationships. She said people sometimes follow ambitions at the expense of making time for their partners.

"Then, Shane's not getting the attention that she craves," Clayton said. "It's this overload of domesticity, I think, for Shane, that isn't sexy."

Clayton said she relates to Tess in this situation. Clayton said she works with a therapist on holding herself to unreasonable standards.

"My therapist [says] there's no perfect version of a situation," Clayton said. "Losing a loved one or breaking up or getting into a relationship, getting out of a relationship, buying a new car -- there's no perfect version of these things."

Like she is learning through therapy, Clayton said she hopes Tess learns to be malleable with changes in her life and relationships. Clayton also hopes that Tess, and the fans, can forgive Shane for her mistakes.

"The Shane McCutchen character is not perfect," Clayton said. "Everybody has things they need to work on. Tess isn't perfect, either."


Moennig reprised her role of Shane from the original L Word. Clayton joined the revival series, Generation Q, in 2019.

For love scenes between Tess and Shane in previous seasons, Clayton worked with intimacy coordinator Katherine O'Keefe. Clayton said she appreciates how The L Word: Generation Q uses lighting and "teasing shots of hands and parts" to suggest viewers are witnessing more intimacy than the actors are performing.

"Then, when you go and you shoot it, there are no surprises," Clayton said.

Clayton said she even gets excited watching the love scenes cut together.

"Like, ooh, what was that?" Clayton said. "Ooh, where's that going? Ooh, I love it."

Clayton also recently starred in Hellraiser on Hulu. She played The Priest, casually known as Pinhead because of the nails sticking out of her face.

Hellraiser director David Bruckner has referred to The Priest with she/her pronouns in interviews. Clayton said The Priest technically has no gender in the story, but she appreciates using the same pronouns she uses in real life.

"I think it was important just for me and for us to refer to the character with female pronouns because why not?" Clayton said. "Because I'm a woman."

The L Word: Generation Q airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on Showtime and streams on Showtime Anytime. Hellraiser is streaming on Hulu.


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